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Wheat and Barley Dwarf Viruses


Survey of Wheat and Barley dwarf viruses in Georgia, Finding Resistance Forms to This Viral Pathogens and Investigation of Mastrevirus Community

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-PPR/Plant Protection/Agriculture

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Agricultural University of Georgia, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Julius Kühn-Institut / Institut für Resistenzforschung und Stresstoleranz, Germany, Quedlinburg\nKansas State University, USA, KS, Manhattan

Project summary

Plant viruses are important pathogens causing economic losses, whose severity places them second after fungi in the ranking of most damaging plant pathogens, worldwide. Plant viruses also can be possible bioweapons, though their importance, as biological warfare is yet neglected in Georgia. One of the features that makes viruses a serious threat in modern agriculture is the efficient system followed by most of them for spreading, relying on vector organisms for transmission. The ability to detect viruses is essential for most kinds of virological studies. In epidemiological research and when establishing virus control measures, correct virus identification is completely necessary. Detection of viruses is based on a complex of biological (host range, symptoms), serological (ELISA), molecular biological (sequencing, PCR) as well as physical (electron microscopy) methods. Agrarian sector of Georgia is severely underdeveloped and a modern molecular biological laboratory to investigate plant viruses is missing. When it is highly essential to: (i) Take preventative and control measures in time; (ii) Enable a sustainable agricultural production (up to date farmer’s community use hazardous chemicals as informations about pathogens are missing); (iii) Perform epidemiological surveys; (iv) Making state-of –art research in plant virology especially in generating virus resistant cultivars.
The proposal is designed to address one of the member of plant viruses in Georgia, with ultimate goal to implementation of Integrative disease management strategy (IDM). On the other hand some fundamental research will be carried out. The proposal is based on strong research components and involves close collaboration between Georgian researchers and investigators from Julius Kuehn Institute (Germany) and Kansas University (USA). More specifically four major tasks will be jointly addressed: (i) a central laboratory-based surveillance for wheat dwarf (WDV) and barley dwarf (BDV) viruses in Georgia. In the framework of the project cereal producing regions of Georgia will be investigated. Viruses will be detected and analyzed (sequenced) with the help of Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA)/Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); (ii) Field surveys will be performed to number viruleferous vectors (P. alienus) with PCR application. It is essential to estimate potential damage to crops from WDV and BDV; (iii) Wheat/Barley genetic resources of Georgia will be evaluated to identify, sources of resistance to WDV/BDV. As Georgia is located in ‘Fertile Cresent”, where Mastreviruses and cereals coevolved, the chances should be rather high to identify either sources of resistance or new strains.
As a result of these activities, several Georgian scientists will redirect their activities, and integrate their talent into the international scientific community. In addition successful completion of the project will facilitate implementation of reasonably well equipped plant pathology center at Agricultural University of Georgia (AGRUNI) which will be critical in establishment an IDM strategies in the country. Once the system is established it has a perspective to be broadened, also to other economical important plant viruses. Furthermore, three year epidemiological survey will be undertaken, about the presence and incidence of WDV/BDV and its vector in the country. This is a key step in development of plant virus disease epidemiology sector in Georgia. The investigation of wheat/barley genetic resources of Georgia, has a breath taking perspective in plant biotechnology (Conventional breeding), as resistant wheat/barley are environmentally friendly and cost effective alternatives to susceptible cultivars. Moreover investigation of WDV/BDV genetic persity, will lead to more understanding of Mastrevirus community, which is poorly understood, nowadays.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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